I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

A Shameless Titbit

The Irish Go For Euro, Not Euros.

Here's a quirky titbit that a writer needs to be aware of when penning something about Ireland. The Irish (politicians and media included) have adopted a unique way of referring to the new European currency. They don't put an "s" on the end of the word euro when talking about prices and the like, as we all do with dollars, pounds etc. "That will be 65 euro," they will say with a grin.

Of course, with Britain not yet in the Eurozone, Ireland was the first English-speaking country in the European Union to test how the currency should be used in written and spoken English. Somewhere along the line the "s" never made it. Other English speakers in the Eurozone (including European media organisations that publish and broadcast in English) insist on putting the "s" on euro. "The government has approved a loan of 65,000 euros," they will report.

It seems the Irish were instructed to drop the "s" at the time the euro was born, as though some directive had been issued from Brussels. As far as I can tell, no such directive exists. Apparently there were some internal EU memos with advice (these were for EU accountants and marketing people who work in many languages) but there was no clear ruling either way for the general English-speaking public. It might also be related to the fact that in French, for example, the "s" is not pronounced (50 francs became 50 'fron', and so euros is said euro). The way the new European currency was handled by other languages may very well have influenced the Irish.

Who in Ireland spread this no "s" rule? How did an entire country pick up the habit of saying a price with no "s"? One certainly hopes this might get sorted out when Britain finally joins up to the Eurozone. In the meantime, dear writers, don't be surprised if the Irish think you've made a terrible error if you happen to write, "It's possible to find a hotel for the night in Dublin for a mere 70 euros!"

No comments: